This article is part 5 of a series of reflections on WandaVision. This article reflects on episode 6, titled All-New Halloween Spooktacular! Spoilers ensue. You have been warned.
Have you ever felt like your world was falling apart? On the other hand, have you ever felt like no one believed you even when you knew you were right? This where we find two of our main characters. The “perfect” world Wanda has built seems to be falling apart more and more each day and Monica is trying to not only help Wanda but also trying to keep S.W.O.R.D. from trying to blow it all up. She’s also trying doing both of these things without siding with either group or receiving help from either group. In fact, both Monica and S.W.O.R.D. are actively trying to stop her while protecting their own interests.
Yet, this episode starts by getting stolen by the twins. To keep the decade trend of series openers we get thrust into the 90’s and witness an opener reminiscent of Malcom in the Middle. Billy and Tommy start to talk excitedly about Halloween while getting to know their uncle Peitro better.Both have their identity, this world they are trying to create or protect tied to the lies they have told themselves and others.
This episode is about discovery: Billy and Tommy discovering their powers, Vision discovering what Wanda has been doing, Monica discovering she’s going to have to find the truth apart from S.W.O.R.D., and Wanda discovering more people are figuring out this big secret she’s trying to keep.
Self-discovery can be liberating. Keeping up a charade is exhausting: it requires constantly adapting to keep our stories straight and carefully determining who we to withhold information from. That’s why self-discovery can be powerful. When we admit that what we are trying to do or be isn’t working, it’s a huge weight off our shoulders—unless, we’ve tied our identity to the lie. This is what we see happen to Wanda and S.W.O.R.D. Both have their identity, this world they are trying to create or protect tied to the lies they have told themselves and others. Both of them are trying to do what they think is best and both are willing to harm others to keep their world intact. Unfortunately, they are learning that their choices affect others.
This is especially true for Wanda. Her relationship with Vision seems to further unravel with each episode. Instead of this city being the saving grace for Vision, it plunges more deeply into the very thing that he didn’t want. And the more he discovers the more he pulls away from Wanda. And Wanda does the thing that a lot of us have done when we are caught in a lie, she tries to control the situation. Instead of trying to lean on the people trying to help her: Vision, her boys, Pietro, Monica, she decides to double down and keep eliminating or manipulating anyone who gets in her way.
Self-discovery is supposed to open up doors for us to grow. Yet, that only works when we see the discovery as something that can help, when we see that discovery as hope. That doesn’t seem to be the way that Wanda sees it, and it doesn’t seem to be the way that S.W.O.R.D. sees it.
Self-discovery is hard, being honest when you’ve made a mistake is even harder. Until Wanda makes that jump it’s going to get worse before it gets better. Luckily, it’s an entertaining mess to watch unfold.